Kannapolis City Schools closed on May 1 due to teacher rally

Kannapolis City Schools closed on May 1 due to teacher rally
KCS made the announcement on Twitter on Monday. (Twitter)

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - From Kannapolis City Schools: Kannapolis City Schools has announced that it will make Wednesday, May 1st an optional teacher workday in Kannapolis City Schools. Students will not be in school on that day.

The district made the decision after more than one hundred teachers in the district requested to take personal leave on May 1st in order to support a rally for public education in the state capital.

The school day missed on May 1st will not have to be made up in Kannapolis City Schools because the district has enough hours built into the school calendar.

Superintendent, Dr. Chip Buckwell, says closing school on May 1st was a difficult decision but one that was necessary. “We know how important instructional time is,” Buckwell said, “and we know cancelling classes on May 1st will be a hardship on many of our families. However, our first priority is always student safety. We have to make sure our students are safe, and we need enough qualified adults in place to hold school. With so many educators across the region taking personal leave on May 1st, we don’t have enough approved substitutes available or enough other staff members to make sure we have classrooms covered. We wish there was a better way, but after looking at all the options, we made the decision to cancel classes on May 1st."

The reason for the teacher absences is a rally for public education that will take place in Raleigh on May 1st. Thousands of educators across North Carolina are expected to attend the May 1st rally, which is intended to influence legislators to take actions that support public education.

Educators are expected to encourage legislators to support funding for public education and teacher pay. Despite increases in state education funding in recent years, North Carolina still ranks 39th in the country in spending per student, and it still spends $2,300 less per student than the national average. In addition, adjusted for inflation, the state still spends less on textbooks, teacher assistants, technology, and instructional supplies than it did before the recession in 2008.

Superintendent, Dr. Chip Buckwell, says showing support for public education is extremely important. “We wish we didn’t have to cancel school on May 1st, but we respect the fact that our staff members’ want to advocate for public education. The lack of per pupil funding over the years has cost Kannapolis City Schools millions of dollars that could have been used to provide more teachers, counselors, and teacher assistants as well as more curriculum support and classroom supplies. In addition, the pay raise given to teachers for this school year does not cover all teachers at all experience levels. Our most experienced teachers have been left out of pay increases. It’s important to give our children and teachers what they need long-term to keep our state growing and strong.”

KCS is partnering with the Cannon Memorial YMCA to offer free and low-cost child care options for families on Wednesday, May 1st. This link has details of the child care options available for KCS families on Wednesday, May 1st.

Classes will resume in KCS on a normal schedule on Thursday, May 2nd.

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